If you’ve been charged with public intoxication you’re usually facing a misdemeanor for which you may be jailed for a short period of time or issued a citation and fine. The laws and ordinances vary by state, and some cities may have municipal ordinances.
Public Intoxication can be a serious charge, but there are legal defenses. For example, when alcohol is ingested with the presence of prescription drugs in your system, that were administered by your licensed medical physician. Some perfectly legal prescription drugs produce undesirable effects that alter your behavior. The facts don’t always support a criminal level charge. Police can be wrong, misinterpret the situation, or overreact to a minor incident, misunderstanding or mistake.
What is Public Intoxication?
Disorderly conduct and public intoxication are not typically the same charges. Disorderly conduct includes a variety of offenses, while public intoxication is specific. Though public intoxication may be an element of a disorderly conduct charge, there are several differences between the two.
Some common disorderly conduct charges include: inciting a riot, disturbing the peace, and public fighting. However, public intoxication can be accompanied by more serious, but separate disorderly conduct charges.
In other words, a public intoxication charge is specific, while disorderly conduct covers a wider range of charges. That’s why police officers need to have discretion in handing out disorderly conduct charges vs. public intoxication only.
In most cases, to be charged with public intoxication, you have to be visibly drunk, to the point that you’re a danger to yourself or others. Public drunkenness penalties all depend on the laws of your state or local authority, and the specific facts of the situation.
If you’ve been charged with public drunkenness or intoxication, you need proper representation by an attorney. Act now by filling out the contact form to the right, to request a an experienced defense attorney.